Monday, September 21, 2015

portable writing offices

Don't we all dream of a writing workshop where motivated writers are busy creating draft after draft, working hard to revise and edit, independently spelling all sorts of words so that we can actually read it without having to say, "Wow... your story looks so interesting.  Can you tell me about it?"  (You know what we're really saying is, I can't read this at all, so if you start talking about it, that'll give me time to decipher a few words, make connections to what you're telling me, and infer the rest.)  

So sometimes this happens.

In April.

With most of the class.

I'm kidding.  This can actually happen shortly after school starts, but students need a predictable structure and helpful tools to create the right environment for independence.  For me, kids need two tools right off the bat... a word wall that grows with them over time and a place to keep track of multiple writing ideas.  If kids always have something to write about and a resource for helping them spell words, they're usually off and running.  

One tool I also like are these little portable writing "offices."  Some teachers and students love these and some don't.  I think that depends on the specific needs and style of both.  But the resources included on the little offices are valuable tools for young writers as they assist in spelling many common words (colors, numbers, sight words, etc.) and help elevate vocabulary with lists of synonyms.  

I like them because they're versatile.
  • They can be used on the floor.  Some kids like to write on their tummies... not their actual tummy... you know what I mean.
  • Some writers concentrate a little better behind a barrier.  This can limit distractions for some kids.
  • The "offices" can be used at a writing center.
  • Or the sheets don't have to be used in an office at all.  They can be placed in writing notebooks instead.
However, whenever, or wherever you use them, you'll find the children keep referring to them... and that fosters independence... and that makes them feel "big."  And that's less tugging on your shirt as you pass by that forlorn writer who's been waiting to ask, "How do you spell yellow?"

I'm GIVING AWAY one of these sets to the first person who can answer this question correctly.  Leave your answer in the comments below and don't forget to include your email address so I can email the set.  Good luck!!  :)

Who is my favorite female actress of all time?

If you don't win, but you'd still like the resource, you can find it by clicking on the image below.

Happy teaching!  :)


  1. Love these! Julia Roberts as your favorite actress?

  2. That was what I was going to say! Julia Roberts. But it might be Meg Ryan? Or Sandra Bullock. I should know this.

  3. Holy cow! Right out of the gate Carrie got it right!! Yes, I LOVE Julia Roberts. (Sandra Bullock is pretty cool, too!)

    Carrie... thanks for reading our blog and check your email for a copy of the materials for the Portable Writing Offices.

    I guess I'll need a harder question next time. :)

  4. Andrea these are great!! I'm thinking of using them for my SPIRIT group after school. It meets all the needs of my multi level kids.

    1. Elaine... you have a SPIRIT group? Bless you. :)